There are easy substitutions for flour, fats and sugars to make holiday cookie recipes healthier, registered dietitian Jessica Short writes. Whole-wheat flour and pureed black beans can be used instead of white flour; coconut palm sugar, unsweetened applesauce and stevia are good sugar swaps; and avocado puree and mashed bananas can be used as fats, Short writes.
Some chefs in the nation's capital are tweaking their normally meat-heavy menus to offer flavorful dishes of fresh, seasonal vegetables to woo not only the vegetarian crowd, but omnivore diners searching for healthier options. "It's really important to use healthy fats and high-quality oils, vinegars and herbs for seasoning," said Ethan McKee of Urbana in Washington, D.C. "It's also especially important to cook with the seasons for vegetarian dishes because you're locking in produce at its peak freshness and flavor. Finally, when you add in legumes and grains like quinoa or farro, you can create a very interesting, satisfying dish."
Many people switch to a vegan diet for health and environmental reasons, but more scientific evidence is showing it may help prevent heart disease and reduce diabetes, registered dietitian Maureen Callahan writes. Researchers have suggested the effects may be driven by weight loss associated with the diet. Callahan suggests making fruits, vegetables and grains the centerpiece of meals, and notes that a plant-based diet can satisfy hunger if given a chance.
Canadian researchers looked at 32 8- to 18-year-olds with high cholesterol levels and found that those who had a daily intake of flaxseed were no more likely to get their low-density lipoprotein or total cholesterol levels down than the whole-wheat flour group. However, the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol of the flaxseed group dropped by about 7 milligrams per deciliter, on average. The findings were published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
A carrot cake made with whole-wheat flour and pureed carrots has a tender crumb and balanced flavor. The recipe is from Emily Luchetti and Terri Wu of Farallon, which uses whole-wheat flour from nearby Eatwell Farm.